Wednesday, 3 May 2006
Department of Transport
Question 117: To ask the Minister for Transport the action he has taken further to the submission made by the Dublin Cycling Campaign to him on 23 February 2006 in relation to the repeal of the requirement for cyclists to use a mandatory cycle lane where one is provided; and the way in which he intends to approach this issue. [16212/06]
As I indicated in reply to Parliamentary Question No. 499 of 21 March 2006 the contents of the submission in question have been noted and the present requirements regarding the use of mandatory cycle lanes will be looked at in the context of the review of the current traffic and parking regulations 1997-2005 that is being undertaken in my Department.
At present under road traffic regulations in place since 1998 where a cycle track, bounded by solid white line roadway marking, is provided it is mandatory for cyclists to use that track. Since 3 April 2006, it is a penalty point for a driver of a mechanically propelled vehicle to drive in such a cycle track since that area of the road is reserved exclusively to cyclists.
The other type of cycle track that a local authority may provide is one that is bounded by a broken white line roadway marking. Restricted access to vehicles is permitted in those cycle tracks because a vehicle can drive in that cycle track to park there while goods are being loaded or unloaded for a period not exceeding 30 minutes. Penalty points do not apply to drivers of vehicles who enter that type of cycle track.
The position being put forward by the Dublin Cycle Campaign Group is that they want to have the mandatory use requirement abolished and to leave individual cyclists have the option whether or not to use the dedicated cycle track space or to use other traffic lanes adjoining if they so wish. A number of policy issues arise for consideration including the safety of the cyclists, the danger of cyclists weaving in and out of traffic, and the role of the Local authorities in identifying on-road space or, in some cases off-road space, to provide cycle track facilities to promote and facilitate cycling as a mode of transport. Work in relation to this issue is ongoing.